Billing and Insurance

Health Insurance

Dealing with health insurance and other benefits can be very confusing. If you have questions, please call your insurance representative directly to better understand how your policy works and what it covers.

Please bring your Medicare, Medi-Cal or insurance identification card to your visit at the UCSF Headache Center. Your insurance may require prior authorization before seeing a UCSF doctor. If so, our department staff will need to obtain a copy of this prior to your appointment to receive authorization for your clinic visit. Please ask your primary care doctor or insurance company to fax your authorization to our office at (415) 353-9539 and also bring a copy to your appointment to ensure you aren't billed for services covered by your insurance.

Your insurance may require an office co-payment. If so, you will be asked to make your co-payment in full at your visit. If your visit is not covered by a health plan or insurance, you will be asked to pay on arrivalfor your visit. For your convenience, we accept cash, checks and credit cards.

UCSF Medical Center contracts with many major health insurance companies. Our hospitals and doctors do not contract with or participate in any health insurance discount card programs. They do, however, accept payments made through health savings account programs. We also can make financial arrangements for your coverage with other health insurance companies, if the companies are willing to do so. Please ask your insurance company or your UCSF doctor to contact our Health Plan Strategy and Contracting office.

Health Plan Strategy and Contracting
Phone: (415) 353-4536
Fax: (415) 353-4397


Understanding Your Bill

As a patient at UCSF Medical Center or UCSF Children's Hospital, you may receive a bill from one of several offices. You may receive a bill from the hospital or medical center for its services and you may receive a bill from one or more physicians who provided your care. For example, after a stay in the hospital, you most likely will receive two bills -- one from the hospital and one from your physician.

Hospital Bill
One bill is for hospital services, which includes room and board. If you had diagnostic tests such as X-rays, electrocardiograms (EKGs) or breathing tests, you will receive a bill indicating fees for the service provided by a technician and fees for the use of equipment and supplies involved with the test or service. Initially, you'll receive a statement indicating the fees charged and the amount coveed by your insurance company. This is not a bill but simply a statement. If there is a balance owed by you that was not covered by insurance, you'll receive a second document by mail. This is a bill indicating the amount you owe. If you have questions regarding these hospital fees or for billing inquiries, please call Patient Financial Services.

Patient Financial Services
Customer Service
Box 0810
San Francisco, CA 94143-0810
Phone: (415) 673-1113
Fax: (415) 353-3914

Physician Bill
This bill is from the doctor who provided your care during your hospital stay or the doctor who read and interpreted your test results .Since this doctor is not an employee of the hospital, the service is billed separately. You are not paying twice for the same service. This bill is typically printed on pink paper. If you have a question concerning your bill for the Surgical Movement Disorder Center, please contact our
billing department at (415) 353-3333.

Payment Tips

Please keep each statement separate. Do not combine your statements and submit one payment. Each office must be paid separately. We accept American Express, Discover Card, MasterCard and Visa as well as personal check, cashier's check and money order. Generally, you will receive a bill one to three weeks after youreceive services from the physicians of UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Children's Hospital. If you have health insurance, our billing office will first bill your insurance carrier for all services. If your insurance plan does not cover a service or procedure or does not cover the entire cost, you will be responsible for the uncovered fees.

If you are covered by Medicare, we will submit your claims to Medicare on your behalf. After Medicare makes its payment, we will bill your supplemental insurance carrier for the remaining balance. If you do not have supplemental insurance, you will be responsible for the balance.

Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program, a medical assistance program for low-income residents funded by the state and federal government. If you are covered under this program, please provide an eligibility card or other proof of eligibility for each month of service.

If you don't have insurance or if you're seeking care that's not covered by your insurance plan, you are considered a self-pay patient. UCSF Medical Center offers a discount to all self-pay patients. If you can't afford the discounted rate, you may qualify for government programs or our charity care assistance. Financial counselors are available to discuss your options and offer assistance in the financial planning of your medical care or services. Payment is required within 30 days of billing, except for elective procedures. All elective procedures require a deposit unless patients are eligible for care under a government program or under our charity care policy. Deposit terms are determined by Financial Counseling based on the outstanding payment. To contact Financial Counseling, call (415) 353-3333.